Review Toshiba Satego X200 Notebook
Master Shogun. Gaming enthusiasts will remember Toshiba's Satellite P100 series, which elated with a Geforce 7900 GS video card about one year ago. The Satego X200 is the new top gaming notebook of Toshiba. The X200 is equipped with a Geforce 8700M GT, an up-to-date video hardware, and so very powerful. Furthermore, it comes with an excellent Harman/Kardon sound system. The provided second hard disk is another bonus.
The Toshiba Satego X200's design fits well to a gaming notebook and, so, it can easily be identified as such. Inlays with reflecting lacquer coating, slightly reddish speakers, the usual LED effects don't leave any doubts regarding intended field of operation.
In contrast to class competitors Toshiba still designed a very comfortable, yet striking, but nevertheless hardly pushing case. Especially the LEDs are very decent, so, contributing to the good look of the Satego.
If you browse the notebook specifications, the height might attract your attention. According to the specification it is actually 52mm, which appears incredible, because the X200 does not really appear to be so thick. Due to skillful reductions of the height to the front side and the flanks the notebook still looks beautiful.
Considering the height, it's no wonder that the X200 scores high in the aspects flexural rigidity and pressure resistance. Furthermore, the notebook can be handled without creaking.
Somewhat unusual for notebooks of this size is the single central hinge which is additionally reversely attached. Besides we observed a clearly see-saw after adjusting the display's position, this design does not have any further disadvantages.
First of all, even during the short test period it got obvious that dust and dirt accumulates in the angle between display and hinge. But, it is also a good pencil groove, but be careful: If you forget about them before closing the display, the display is most likely broken.
An important aspect of DTR notebooks is the interface equipment and their order, especially, if the notebook is, as the Toshiba Satego X200, not equipped with a docking port. The display plays an important role here, because due to the chosen opening mechanism the interfaces had to be located at the notebook's flanks.
Unfortunately, the provided ports are also rather near to the front, because the back parts are used by the vent holes and the DVD drive.
So, all of the 6 USB ports, and also the LAN, Firewire, and HDMI port are near the front corners. The audio ports (audio in, S/PDIF, microphone, headphones) are even at the front edge.
Depending on the actual use, this can lead to cable spaghetti around the notebook, which might even disturb the user.
The input devices are as spacious as the case. At the top side of the base unit a keyboard with clear layout, separate numerical pad, and molding with hot keys is provided.
All of the keys are of comfortable size. Also the the layout is alright, providing clearly separated groups of keys. The surface of the silver keyboard is interesting. It seems a little bit roughened and nearly ceramic in use.
The way typing feels does not totally fit to the otherwise high-quality impression. The keys have a very clear point of pressure, but, seem to wobble a little bit. Also the clattering noise and the dull noise when pressing single keys a little more forceful is a matter of taste.
The touch pad is placed in the center below the keyboard and this means rather at the left side of the base unit, due to the provided separate numerical block. It has good sliding properties and user-friendly buttons. By pressing a blue illuminated icon at the right top of the pad, other icons, provided directly at the pad, are activated. These can be used to launch some special functions.
Considering this aspect, also Toshiba's current Fn visualization might be interesting. If you press the Fn key, a graphical menu is moved down from the upper display edge. It can be used to control the provided options also by mouse. Unfortunately, this is rather slow, so, using the direct Fn + key combination might be preferable.
The Toshiba Satego X200 comes with a 17 inchTruBrite display in WXGA+ format (1440x900 pixels). This means it has a reflecting surface. Considering the size of a 17 inch notebook, the provided resolution seems nearly a little low, but in general it is acceptable.
The measured maximum brightness of the display was 210.8 cd/m² in the center of the display. Furthermore, the brightness essentially diminishes to the lower corners. So, the illumination of only 64.8% is below-average. At the lower corner you can also observe a small, in total negligible clouding at very bright settings.
The minimum brightness (black value) of the display is 0.9 cd/m². So, leading to an acceptable maximum possible contrast of 234:1. There are no anomalies regarding speed of reaction.
It's is not very likely that this 17 inch DTR will be used outdoors. And you are well advised not to, because the reflecting display would make usage in bright outdoor lightening conditions cumbersome or impossible.
The viewing angles are an interesting aspect considering it is a DTR notebook. Horizontally, they are quite good, but there are limitations due to reflections. Vertically, the display quickly darkens or whitens outside an acceptable area of operation. Also here reflections might disturb at acuter angles.
Video of Display's Viewing Angles
Performance is maybe the most interesting aspect of a gaming notebook. In contrast to other manufacturers whose gaming notebooks are equipped with 8600M GT video cards, Toshiba patiently waited for the launch of the 8700M GT series, because you can expect a fair increase in performance compared to the 8600 series.
At the time of writing the Toshiba Satego X200 comes with a T7300 Core 2 Duo CPU and a total of 2GB main memory, 2 hard disk with a total capacity of 240GB (120+120GB), and finally a NVIDIA Geforce 8700M GT video card.
Of course the most interesting aspect of this configuration is the ultra-modern video card. The Geforce 8700M GT video card is equipped with 256MB DDR3 video memory, which has a very good performance as already noticed ins reviews of 8600M GT models. The clock rate of GPU and video memory is 625/700 MHz.
Compared to a Quadro NVS 320M video card, which we reviewed in a HP Compaq 8710p Notebook a short time ago and which also belongs to the 8700M series, the 8700M GT GPU clock rate was increased by 50 MHz. The Quadro NVS is apparently lower clocked for lower power consumption, lower emissions, and increased stability.
The benchmark depicts excellent results of the NVIDIA Geforce 8700M GT video card. It outperforms clearly all other video solutions reviewed so far in the 3D Mark test, besides SLI solutions.
Interestingly, this is only true for the classical 3DMark benchmark. In practice the impression is different. E.g., at the Doom 3 time demo benchmark test at ultra details it reaches only abouta level of a Geforce 7600 and is clearly outperformed by the Geforce 9700GS. The Geforce 7950GTX video card even reaches about double the frame rate of the 8700M GT. You can observe about the same result in the FEAR benchmark test.
So, you can still do without the new video card generation when playing current games without DirectX 10 support. Good 3DMark results are worth nothing, if the performance of games does not meet ones expectations.
However, performance comparisons can get interesting again with soon to come DirectX 10 games. Hopefully, the new 8000 series will perform better there. The Satego X200 reached an average of 15fps in the Lost Planet (DX10 support) performance test. We are anxious to the comparison with further video cards.
|3DMark 2001SE Standard||24971 points|
|3DMark 03 Standard||13601 points|
|3DMark 05 Standard||8904 points|
|3DMark 06 Standard||4802 points|
|PCMark 05 Standard||5232 points|
|Command and Conquer III|
Further Benchmark Results:
[Test at Skirmish 1 vs 1 at a small map, average frame rate]
- Resolution 1024x768, Detail Presets at "high" - 30 fps during game - well playable.
- Resolution 1280x800, Detail Presets at "high" - 25 fps during game - well playable.
- Resolution 1440x900, Detail Presets at "high" - 20 fps during game - still rather well playable.
Despite of the good performance the emissions, and here, first of all the noise of the notebook are very limited. In idle mode the Satego X200 is very quiet the noise stays at a comfortable level of 35.4 dB.
Under load the fan gets of course a little louder and runs with at a noise level of about 39.7 dB having sometimes spikes of up to 42.8 dB.
In total the Satego X200 can be called a quiet notebook, whose noise never annoys. Also during playing games the noise level stays rather decent.
35.4 / 35.4 / 35.4 dB(A)
||36.8 / dB(A)|
||39.7 / 42.8 dB(A)|
min: , med: , max: (15 cm distance)
Alike the loudness also the surface temperatures of the notebook stay alright. Neither at the top side nor at the bottom side striking temperatures were measured even after longer gaming sessions. Maximum values of just 31.8 °C at the top side and 36.2 °C at the bottom side are rather values of a scarcely equipped office notebook…
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 31.8 °C / 89 F, compared to the average of 40 °C / 104 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 36.2 °C / 97 F, compared to the average of 42.8 °C / 109 F
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 30.6 °C / 87.1 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.9 °C / 84 F (-1.7 °C / -3.1 F).
Finally, we reviewed a notebook with a sound system with which one can enjoy listening to music again. Above the keyboard there are left and right optically striking speakers. In total four Harman/Kardon speakers are provided at the top side.
Additionally, there is a sub woofer at the bottom side, which supports the speakers a the top side with rich sound. The result is convincing: Sonority, quality, and maximum volume are brilliant.
There is only one point of critique: The speakers are beneath a cover with spacious holes, which cannot easily be removed. It's a mystery how dust particles, which will unavoidably penetrate, can be removed from the diaphragms again...
Equipped with a high capacity, but, fully integrated 6000 mAh (64.8 Wh) battery (which can not easily be removed) the Satego hopes to reach a good battery runtime. Of course this is only a minor aspect for DTR notebooks of this size, but, in order to be a notebook, it cannot do without any.
The measured runtime ranges from hardly above one hour under load to about 4 hours at minimum energy demand. These is an average runtime, so, also passable for a DTR notebook.
How does the perfect gaming notebook actually look like? Elegant case, robust input devices, good display, and brilliant performance? No so bad. The Toshiba Satego X200 satisfies at least some of these aspects.
The case is on the one hand relatively big, but still beautifully and stylish designed. Also workmanship and robustness of the chassis are alright. The input devices are spacious and clearly designed, but, their overall quality must first be proved by long-term usage.
The Satego X200 comes with a 17 inch WXGA+ display with reflecting surface. This is fair considering the price, but, a higher maximum resolution would be partly desirable. Reflecting surfaces are a temporary fashion, and most gaming notebooks are equipped such displays.
The performance is alright. It rates first-class in the benchmark tests, however the practical gaming tests were not overall convincing. Perhaps (hopefully) the Geforce 8700M GT can show its full power with new DX 10 games, because at current DX9 games it is clearly outperformed by a 7950 GTX and comparable video cards.
The measured noise and temperature emissions are surprisingly low. Considering the brilliant performance, this should be credited even more. The sound of the Harman/Kardon speakers with additional sub woofer convinces.
Finally, also the battery runtime is rather alright, but, this only insignificantly influences the purchase decision of a desktop replacement notebook.
Über den Testbericht bzw. das Notebook können Sie hier in unserem Forum diskutieren.